Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Conquest of Seestan

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Conquest of Seestan

Seestan the eastern province of Persia, and the home of the legendary hero Rustam of Shahnama fame was conquered by the Muslim forces sent to Seestan. The Muslim advance had been obstructed by the Persian forces at the frontier. After a violent fight the Persian forces had been repulsed. The Muslims had thereafter advanced to Zaranj the capital of the province which fell after a prolonged siege. Thereafter the Muslims suppressed all opposition, and became the masters of the entire province.

Reconquest of Seestan
Some time around 649 C.E. a wave of unrest swept across Persia and Seestan, like other provinces, revolted against the authority of the Muslims. Uthman had, therefore, to embark on a plan of the reconquest of Persia and Seestan. Abdullah b 'Aamir the Governor of Basra was charged by Uthman with the responsibility of reconquering Persia. Abdullah b 'Aamir launched a multi pronged attack, and sent columns of Muslim warriors under seasoned commanders to various parts of Persia.

A column was sent to Seestan under the command of Rabe'ah b Ziyad. The first confrontation took place at Zaliq a border town. The Muslims attacked the Persians on the day of the Persian festival Mehrgan. Taken by surprise the Persians suffered a heavy defeat. The chief of the city was taken captive, and he sued for peace. Rabeah stuck a pole in the ground, and wanted the Persians to lay a heap of gold and silver up to the top of the pole. The condition was fulfilled, and peace was concluded.

Thereafter the Muslim forces advanced to the town of Qarquqya five miles from Zaliq. The town was captured after some resistance.

Thereafter the Muslim forces advanced to Zaranj. The Persians shut themselves within the walled city. The Muslims besieged the city, and blockaded all passages thereto. After some time when the citizens began to stane their chief Abruwaiz sought an interview with the Muslim commander Rabe'ah. Wnen the Persian chief was admitted to the Muslim camp he found Rabe'ah sitting on a Persian corpse and reclining against another. This weird scene struck terror in the heart of the Persian chief. He felt that the Muslims were aided by some supernatural power, and it was futile to resist them. He offered his submission, and besides agreeing to pay an annual tribute, he presented to the Muslim commander one thousand slave girls and one thousand gold cups

After staying at Zaranj for some time, the Muslim forces proceeded to subjugate the rest of the province. Crossing the valley of Sanurwaz the Muslim forces advanced to the city of Qarbatin. It was the region to which the legendary hero Rustam had belonged. The people were warlike, and they fought against the Muslims. They were, however, defeated, and had to accept the sovereignty of the Muslims. After settling the affairs of the outlying regions, Rabe'ah returned to Zaranj with 40,000 captives. Immense booty fell to the Muslims in these campaigns.

Rabe'ah stayed as Governor at Zaranj for some time and reorganized the administration. After two years Rabe'ah le t Zaranj for Basra. As soon as Rabe'ah left Seestan, the Persians rose in revolt against the Muslim rule, and expelled the representative of Rabe'ah from Seestan.